A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. ~ A. Schopenhauer
There are supposedly two main characteristics that have helped us stand out in our evolutionary journey; our unique 3D vision and our ability to work in groups.
Many people attribute our social instinct as one of the main reasons for our survival in an environment full of dangerous threats. Of course, there were a few lone wolves here and there who managed to survive on their own, but the majority felt comfort in being part of a larger social structure.
Within the last century or so, with the discoveries of science and the development of technology, something unique has begun to occur. Mass fabrication has become possible, and due to the massive developments in media advertising and the discovery of our sense of identity (also known as the Ego), mass consumerism has been born.
Suddenly we’re informed that we all have the opportunity to be unique, to stand out from everyone else in the way we dress, the cars we drive and the houses we live in. Consumerism has provided a way of expressing our individuality, with more and more inventions coming out that promise us a happier life and lifestyle.
As a stronger sense of self has emerged within us, so too has a greater desire for self-fulfillment. We live in a time where we crave self-fulfillment as unique individuals. This is evident from the large numbers of psychologists, gurus, and life coaches readily available to us at a click of a button. However, the more we adopt the solutions provided to us by the society of consumption and ambition, the further away we find ourselves from inner-fulfillment at all.
Often we get lost in our search for answers in the external world and we forget that most of the answers can be found internally – if we provide the space for them to manifest themselves.
Now that our sense of self has become so strong, it has made itself more available to allow for its own evolution, or Involution, and personal growth. I believe we are at the beginning of an evolution of the self that will require immense Solitude to aid it.
It’s a great time for us to live in, and to begin our acceptance of Solitude now will make it a lot easier to be who we are destined to become in the future.
These are seven lessons you can learn when you find the space for Solitude.
1. Solitude Centers You
How often do you feel that life is living you, rather than you are living life? In the fast-paced society that we live in, we often feel that our lives are controlled by the schedules, commitments, and demands in our daily routines.
In conversations with others, we touch on the surface of many different topics without allowing ourselves to be completely absorbed by any single one of them. Solitude provides a strong center, an inner core, that makes your attention feel centered rather than dragged around by different social or environmental stimulations.
2. Solitude Connects You With Yourself
Stimulation in our technological age is everywhere, and it’s all too easy to spend a few hours drifting from page to page on Reddit or YouTube, playing games on your phone, or watching an endless amount of television. The truth is: technology disconnect you from yourself.